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Only $1 a day extra for nursing homes.



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334a Marrickville Road, Marrickville NSW 2204 Phone (02) 9564 3588    Fax (02) 9564 1734 Parliament House: Phone (02) 6277 4031 Fax (02) 6277 8445

Tuesday, 25 June 2002

ONLY $1 A DAY EXTRA FOR NURSING HOMES

Today’s announcement by the Minister for Ageing that the Government would increase subsidies to nursing homes from 1 July translates into an increase of just $1.03 per resident per day.

Today’s announcement is a re-announcement of an initiative contained in last month’s Budget.

At the time of the Budget the Minister proclaimed that this increase to the nursing home subsidy would “attract and retain more aged care nurses by offering them pay rates closer to those of nurses in the public hospital sector” (BP 2, 113).

However, given that nationally the wage gap between aged care nurses and their public sector counterparts is $84.84 per week, this additional money is a long way short of what is required to restore wage parity.

In addition, the Minister has failed to outline how he will guarantee that this extra money is used to increase the wages of aged care nurses and not spent by operators to cover the other cost pressures building on them.

Today’s re-announcement is a belated and inadequate attempt to address the damage done to the nursing home sector by the Howard Government’s decision to cut aged care funding by $500 million in its first Budget.

It also comes just one day after it was revealed that 17 out of the 29 nursing homes in Victoria fail to met the Government’s own care and safety standards.

Since these cuts the wage disparity between aged care nurses and their public sector counterparts has grown significantly in every State.

If the wage disparity between aged care nurses and their public sector counterparts is not addressed immediately, the nursing home sector will continue to experience extreme difficulties in attracting and retaining adequate and qualified nursing staff.

For more information: Anthony Albanese 02 6277 4031 / 0419 777 597 Jeff Singleton 02 6277 4031

Anthony Albanese MP Federal M ember for Grayndler Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors